Bloomberg News

Norwegian Credit Growth Slowed for First Time Since June

January 09, 2012

(Updates with enterprise credit growth in fourth paragraph, comment from analyst in fifth.)

Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Norwegian credit growth slowed in November for the first time since June amid signs the European debt crisis will hurt export demand from the Nordic economy.

Credit growth slowed to 6.6 percent in November from 6.8 percent in October, the Oslo-based statistics agency said today. The pace was estimated to remain unchanged, according to the median forecast of nine analysts.

Central Bank Governor Oeystein Olsen said last week that the bank still had room to lower rates even after cutting its benchmark by a more-than-expected half a percentage point in December to 1.75 percent. The prospects for Norway’s manufacturing sector have worsened, Olsen said.

The country’s manufacturing industry shrank at the fastest pace in two years in December, a purchasing managers’ index published by Fokus Bank showed last week. The seasonally adjusted index based on responses from purchasing managers fell to 46.6 from 48.5 in November, Fokus Bank said.

Twelve-month credit growth for non-financial enterprises slowed to 4.6 percent from 4.7 percent in October, while household credit growth remained unchanged at 7.2 percent for a fourth consecutive month.

“It is encouraging that household credit growth didn’t increase further,” Ole Andre Kjennerud, an analyst at DNB ASA, said in a note to clients. “It is good for the Norwegian economy that credit growth does not fall significantly for non- financial corporations, which can happen given the turmoil in financial markets.”

Low borrowing costs helped boost property prices by 9 percent last year, according to the Norwegian Real Estate Brokers Association.

--Editors: Jonas Bergman, Christian Wienberg

To contact the reporter on this story: Josiane Kremer in Oslo at jkremer4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonas Bergman at jbergman@bloomberg.net


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